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The Raptors are in transition mode. So is Raptors HQ.

As the Raptors are retooling, it only makes sense that we retool as well.

2019 NBA Finals - Golden State Warriors v Toronto Raptors Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images

Yesterday, our longtime fearless leader, Daniel Reynolds, eloquently shared some big news with the world: He’s officially retiring as manager of Raptors HQ and will no longer be covering the Toronto Raptors.

That leaves lil old me to attempt to fill his shoes, and yeah, I’m pretty much feeling like this right now:

There’s no way to reasonably quantify the impact that Daniel had on this site and on everyone who’s written for it over the last seven years. He’s great to work with, consistent and positive, and a hell of a writer and editor. None of us would be here without him and the site wouldn’t be what it is without him.

We’re going to miss him — a lot.

The only good news is, although we’re losing our best and most consistent voice, there’s no Extreme Makeover HQ Edition underway or anything like that. John Gaudes and Sean Woodley are the veterans who really make this site what it is (our motto should probably be “It’s fine” as a nod to Woodley); you’ll continue to find their insights here. Our podcast leader Jay Rosales and the ever-growing That’s a Rap Pod aren’t going anywhere (and be sure to listen to Jay and Daniel talk about Daniel’s time as Editor-in-Chief). We’ll still have our deep roster of writers to bring you previews and recaps of every game, as well as regular columns and features, and we’ll do our best to cover the ins and outs of the Raptors 905 as well.

And yeah, I’ll still be here, too. I hope you’re familiar with me from my Five Thoughts columns, but if my name is a new one, well, my story in a nutshell: I studied journalism at Sheridan College, covered sports for the Sheridan Sun, and started my career as a reporter covering the tech industry. But I quickly pivoted into marketing — there were simply more opportunities. That’s what I’ve been doing for (ahem) many years now; in my “day job” I manage a team of content marketers at a tech company.

So, much like Daniel, I cannot claim to be a sportswriter. But, at various points over the years I did attempt to blog about the Raptors — I just couldn’t get anything consistent going.

Then, ahead of the 2017-18 season, I made a goal for myself to blog about every Raptors game. Just for me, on my personal website; that’s where “Five Thoughts on Last Night” was born. Then in December 2017 I heard Raptors HQ was looking for writers so I connected with Daniel and in January 2018 I started publishing the Thoughts here at HQ.

And in those four seasons from 2017-18 to 2020-21, I think I missed a total of five games. Not bad! I’m nowhere close to Daniel’s 2,000 posts, but I’m on my way.

Over the years Daniel began showing me more and more of the ropes and he asked me to became an editor in 2019. Which brings us to today. The only reason I’m remotely qualified to the do this job at all is because I got to see Daniel do it, and if I can do it half as well as he did, I’ll consider that a success! I can’t thank Daniel enough for his support and guidance over the years, and I’ll likely be blowing up his phone for advice for at least the next three months or so.

Now, there is one thing that will likely change: It’s to retire, or at least evolve, “Five Thoughts on Last Night.” With the new site manager responsibilities I won’t be able to write five thoughts about every game anymore (I think y’all are tired of those anyway). I’ll be covering a lot more of the day-to-day news and so on, and I have a few ideas of how to transform the Five Thoughts into something different (and more manageble), so stay tuned on that. (Of course, if there’s someone crazy enough out there to commit to writing five thoughts about every Raptors game, I’m open to passing the torch too!)

Which brings me to my final point. Although I don’t see much change happening in the short term, the way Raptors HQ exists and runs and writes about the Raptors is not set in stone. I’m very open to new ideas and suggestions and feedback; if you have thoughts about what you’d like to see here, please share them in the comments or hit me up on Twitter.

Thank you again to Daniel, and to all of you for reading and supporting our work here. We look forward to sharing our coverage of the 2021-22 season with you!